Repealing Obama Care seems to be the subject of many a debate both on the streets and on the news. Tackling this issue will certainly be on the agenda in the new Congress. For many, this will be a top priority. Job creation and growing the economy will be the number one task for Congress but repealing the massive health care bill rates near the top of American’s to do list.
The subject of health care and the elections have been at the forefront of many of the protests around the country for over a year now. Although I don’t pretend to have all of the solutions for the complicated issue of health care coverage, there are a few things that come to mind throughout this debate.
First, we all have to admit that the way that this bill was passed was far from ordinary. When the Speaker of the House says that we have to pass a bill to even know what is in it, this should have given all of us pause. We had people in Congress devising ways to pass the bill without having an open vote.
Remember the Slaughter Solution? Deem and Pass? Reconciliation? The Corn Husker Kickback?
The whole process of passing this bill feels dirty and it has certainly left a bad taste in the mouth of most Americans. Back room deals, kickbacks and secret promises were all part of the package. It sort of stinks, like they had to buy votes. This is no way to pass a bill that encompasses so much. There is too much at stake for that.
We all know that the Democrats totally ignored the GOP and their ideas for reform, going so far as to say that the Republicans didn’t even have any ideas and were, in fact, against the very idea of health care reform. We now know that this was not true. I would venture to say that most Americans, no matter which side of the aisle they ascribe to, are for health insurance reform, just not the monstrous bill that the Democrats shoved through Congress without even knowing what the bill was truly about.
Did we hear any debate about the Republicans ideas? Did you hear anything from Congress about how setting national regulations in place and allowing for Insurance companies to operate over state lines? That simple act alone would encourage competition amongst the top national insurance companies and inevitable keep costs lower. Did the Democrats who pushed for reform ever mention tort reform as a way to keep costs down for the medical community? What we didn’t hear was that the lobbyists for all the lawyers are very powerful and paid huge sums of money to not have this solution included in the bill.
And seriously, what happened to being able to keep your own doctor and your own insurance? New plans call for new doctors. Even seniors have had to give up their doctors to be able to enroll in many of the new plans being offered. Doctors, all over the country, are not accepting new patients on Medicare or Medicaid because of the cuts in the bill. Some have even stopped accepting Medicaid and Medicare payments leaving their patients to pay cash for services.
The Democratic leadership and the White House told us this bill would reduce premiums, medical costs and would help lower the deficit. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? That’s because it isn’t true. Most insurance companies have increased the costs of their premiums. AARP, who was all for this bill, finally caved and had to raise the costs of their premiums too, just to stay afloat. Hospital and doctor’s offices have also increased their prices, partially due to the cuts in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements which are spelled out in the bill. Days after the bill was passed, the Congressional Budget Office had to admit that the figures boasted about by the backers of the bill were incorrect and that the overall costs would be much greater.
On the White House website there is a video highlighting the advantages of the new health care bill. The video is of a woman who is fighting cancer and who was denied health insurance because her cancer was considered a pre-existing condition. Under Obama Care, she now has health insurance.
She is so very happy because now she doesn’t have to spend her own money or dip into her retirement savings to pay for her medical expenses. So I fully understand why she is happy and I am happy for her.
But somebody has to pay those bills and guess who that somebody is.
Although the video doesn’t explain why she wasn’t previously covered through her employment or her husbands, this was the first thing I wanted to know. She is employed, her husband is employed, and they have a 401k, so what was it that caused her to be uninsured?
Was it a personal choice? Were the premiums too high? Did she just neglect to buy it?
This administration repeatedly told us about the millions of Americans who were not insured. Well, not that they have to, but they neglected to tell us why these folks were uninsured.
Did they choose to not have insurance?
Were they recently unemployed and can’t afford to pay the premiums?
Are they folks who were denied Medicaid coverage because they make more money than the going Medicaid rate allows?
Is it the money? The type of coverage? Neglect?
Maybe they don't want or need coverage?
Knowing why these people were uninsured would greatly help in figuring out the proper way to get them insured. But none of this was even considered.
Nope, we weren’t told the reasons, we were just meant to feel guilty about all of the folks uninsured and led to believe that one size fits all solution is the way to go.
I like things that make sense and I know it isn’t just me that thinks this massive bill doesn’t make any sense. Even the Congressmen voting on the bill admitted that they voted for it without reading it or understanding it. One rep stated that the bill was too hard to read and he couldn’t make sense of it but yet, he voted for it anyway. To me, this is not just nonsense, this is downright stupidity. How dare they pass bills, actual laws of this land, without knowing exactly what they are voting on? How can they consider the long term ramifications of this bill if they don’t even know what changes are planned? Who do they think they are anyway? Do they think this is just sort of joke? The laws they pass affect people. They need to give the notion of passing bills, especially ones that cost this much money and will touch all of our lives, some sort of due consideration. Instead, passing this bill was turned into some sort of popularity contest and guess what? We, the people, lost.
I remember thinking as I saw the result of the vote on Health Care pass, is this the best you can do? This complicated, convoluted, controlled takeover of our health care is the very best that this Congress has to offer?
In my opinion, this bill was just the first step toward the goal of a single payer option that would eventually do away with insurance companies and leave the government as the only game in town for insurance, true and total socialized medicine.
The rhetoric has already started against the Republicans. This past Election Day was quite a wake-up call for Washington and the Democrats.
Although they didn’t run on the merits of the health care bill, I do believe that there will be opposition to many of the changes the GOP has in mind. Many of the same arguments the far left used before are now coming back. In fact, I saw this posted recently by a young woman who claims she is ‘uber’ smart, a law student and an avowed socialist.
“If you voted Republican but are on socialized programs such as WIC, Medicaid, Medicare, EBT/Food Stamps, SOCIAL security...you are mentally challenged and have been watching FOX NEWS way too much...you should look into collecting disability for that...oh wait...”
How ridiculous is thinking like that? How does this help the debate? Does she really think that Republicans do not support any social programs at all? I know the left tried to use this argument last year as well. But it does show us the base mentality of the far left. Statements like this are usually not worth commenting on, but I did simply to highlight the scope of the debate that is coming.
As a law student, I’m thinking this girl should know that the Constitution does not allow the government to force the American people to buy anything. In fact, it expressly forbids it. So, for the Congress and this administration to enforce this bill, they are breaking Constitutional law. That is essentially what will be argued about as this bill makes its way to the Supreme Court.
Almost half of the states have already filed a lawsuit against the federal mandate included in this bill. This could be the best option for overturning the whole bill. The suit can go forward without the threat of a presidential veto that Congress is sure to face. This lawsuit is complicated and I don’t pretend to understand it all, but I do know that the federal government is limited in what they can mandate our sovereign states to pay for, and the healthcare bill certainly steps over that line.
It has never been done before. In fact, a mandate like this has been expressly forbidden in the Constitution. The government has never been given the authority to order the citizens of America to buy anything before. You may think that this isn’t a big deal; but you would be wrong. Here is where things get complicated. We all may need insurance, but the government does not have the authority to make you buy it. Nor do they have the right, by law, to fine you, investigate or imprison you if you fail to do so. Yet, they put these provisions in the bill.
Some of you may believe that having insurance is a necessary thing, and that the government needs to have the right to enforce this policy, as they do with Social Security and Medicare / Medicaid. This health care bill wasn’t set up as a government entitlement program like the sponsored programs of Social Security or Medicare / Medicaid so the comparison isn’t valid. Still some may argue that the government should be able to allow this mandate, just this once, because it is so important. The counter argument to that is myriad.
Have you ever known the government to stop at just one bite? Just like a child, you give them an inch and they will take a mile. Allowing this mandate sets a precedent. In the halls of our court system, once a precedent is made, it becomes the way it is.
So, by this action of ordering all Americans to buy health insurance, they set a precedent. Which means, the next time that the government wants to you to buy something; they can and will just say so. They can simply order all citizens to buy electric cars, energy efficient windows, or Star-Kist Tuna without a care for the will of the people.
One doesn’t have to look far to see that this is true; the best example is the income tax law. The proof is all around us.
As the law stands now, every citizen must buy health insurance. For those who can’t afford it, help is available. This is no guarantee that people will actually do so. It is my opinion that an awful lot of people will just opt out. Sure, the IRS may find them out, but the fine that they will be issued is far less than the yearly insurance premium that they are ordered to purchase. They will only buy the insurance when they find themselves in a position to really need it, when they get sick or when they have an accident. They can’t be turned down so the need for planning for emergencies is gone.
If the Democratic talking points are to be believed, the GOP is against any insurance reform and they just want to kill the bill. Most of know that that just isn’t true. Everyone understands the need for true health care reform but Obama Care isn’t it. Perhaps the answer lies in taking small steps, examining what works and what doesn’t, opening the markets across state lines and certainly addressing the issue of tort reform. Wanting all Americans to benefit from health insurance is what we all strive for. But let’s make it work for everyone. Let’s do it right.